Texas Caviar Recipe For Y’All

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I had Texas caviar when I was living in San Antonio and it was love at first bite. With delicious ingredients such as black eyed peas, tomatoes, corn, and fresh green onions, what’s not to love?

Texas Caviar Hero

Have you been introduced to Texas caviar yet? If not, you’re truly in for a treat! It’s so simple and easy to make, but the ingredients combine to make such a flavorful and fresh side dish. My Texas caviar recipe includes black eyed peas, corn, diced tomatoes, Italian dressing, and fresh parsley and green onion. All you have to do is combine the ingredients, let it sit in the fridge and marinate, and then it’s time to dig in!

I serve mine with tortilla chips but many a person has been known to eat it simply with a bowl and spoon. However you decide to partake of it, this recipe combines the best of flavors and lets you spoon up the good life for you and your guests!

You can serve it as a dip or appetizer, as a substitute for salsa or Pico de Gallo, or alongside a main dish like chicken fajitas. The choice is all yours.

Why Is It Called Texas ‘Caviar’?

Well, my friend Wikipedia aptly points out that it is a humorous comparison to the fancy-schmancy caviar dish that you find at upscale restaurants. But what I didn’t know is it was made by a New Yorker in the 1940s.  Now, who would’ve thought! Also known as Cowboy Caviar, the word is that it was first served on New Year’s in Houston. It truly has become the caviar of the south.

Texas Caviar Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Whole kernel corn
  • Black eyed peas (with jalapeno if you can get them)
  • Petite diced tomatoes (feel free to substitute for fresh Roma or cherry tomatoes if you have them available to you).
  • Zesty Italian dressing
  • Fresh parsley
  • Green onion

How to Make Texas Caviar

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Drain all of your cans well and dump them one by one into a dishpan or a large bowl.

Chop up some fresh parsley and add that in there along with the chopped green onion.

Hint on the green onions: I just cut mine up with kitchen shears. So much easier than trying to slice them.

Pour the entire bottle of dressing over the ingredients and stir.

Texas Caviar in bowl, served with corn chips.

Refrigerate for several hours to let the flavors blend and serve with veggie sticks, homemade tortilla chips, crackers, or corn chips, like you do salsa.

Scooping Texas caviar out of bowl with corn chip.

Enjoy each scoop as the flavors burst in your mouth!


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Any longer and you’ll probably find the ingredients get very mushy.
  • Here are some ways to use the leftovers:
    • Mix with a cup of cooked rice for a delicious vegetarian rice salad.
    • Add some fresh greens to make a salad for lunch.
    • Add to an omelet.
    • Spoon a serving over grilled meat for dinner, like chicken tenderloins, steak, or fish.

Recipe Notes

  • Chill the Texas caviar dip for at least one hour or overnight for maximum flavor. This is the perfect appetizer to make ahead of time.
  • Here are some variations to make this Texas caviar recipe your own:
    • Substitute the black eyed peas for any kind of beans, or do a combination of black eyed peas and black beans if you like.
    • Substitute the fresh parsley for fresh cilantro.
    • Add a cup of diced bell pepper.
    • Substitute the green onion for a red onion.
    • Add diced avocado right before serving.
    • If you don’t get a can of black eyed peas with jalapeno, you can simply add 1 medium jalapeno.
  • You can use canned, fresh corn, or frozen corn kernels in this recipe.
  • Instead of Italian dressing, which is the traditional way to serve Texas caviar, make a homemade chilli lime dressing. You’ll want to combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin.
  • You could also just add 3 to 4 tablespoons of lime juice to this Cowboy caviar recipe when you add the other ingredients to enhance the flavor.

You might also enjoy these Texas-inspired recipes: 

Pimiento Cheese Dip Good N Gooey

Cheesy Baked Vidalia Dip

Bruschetta with a Texas Twist (Video)

Texas Turtle Sheet Cake

Texas Caviar

With ingredients like black eyed peas, tomatoes, corn, and fresh green onions that burst with every bite, what's not to love about Texas caviar?
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caviar
Servings: 4
Calories: 262kcal


  • 2 green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cans black eyed peas with jalapeno if available
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn
  • 1 bottle zesty Italian dressing


  • Drain the cans well and pour the contents into a large bowl or dishpan. Add the chopped parsley. Cut the green onion and add as well. Add the entire bottle of Italian dressing and stir well.
    2 green onions, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 2 cans black eyed peas, 1 can petite diced tomatoes, 1 bottle zesty Italian dressing, 2 cans whole kernel corn
  • Refrigerate. Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips.


Calories: 262kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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  1. This sounds great. What would you recommend to use in place of the black-eyed peas? Maybe some Crowder peas?

  2. I have been making this one for about 25years and we love it. It is good with chips but also used as the protein on a nice green salad.

    Cowboy Caviar
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1 1/2-2 teaspoons hot sauce and can add 1 roasted hot pepper or chopped fine jalapeno to taste
    1 1/2 teaspoons salad oil
    1 clove minced garlic
    1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 firm ripe avocado chopped
    Mix all together and add
    1 can black eyed peas drained
    1 can corn drained
    2/3 cup sliced green onions
    1/2 lb. Roma tomatoes chopped coarsley

  3. I’m trying to make this Texas Caviar, but what size “small” bottle of Zesty Italian dressing do I use? I’ve seen 16 oz and as small as 8 oz of other brands.

  4. This my recipe, but I use 2 cans of Rotel-whatever ‘strength ‘ your family prefers. I think you’ll like this change. It’s mighty fine with cornbread, too!

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